705 Breaking the Waves

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Peter-H
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:02 pm

Re: 705 Breaking the Waves

#76 Post by Peter-H » Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:57 am

Has any Christian theologian ever analyzed this movie? Because I'd be interested in that.

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: 705 Breaking the Waves

#77 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:48 am

Peter-H wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:40 pm
Perhaps Bess's sacrifice doesn't necessarily have any causal connection to her going to heaven; maybe the movie is saying that her sacrifice in and of itself was pointless and misguided but the fact that she was willing to do that shows that she's faithful and loving which is why she goes to heaven. In other words maybe she was rewarded for who she was not what she did.
I have been wondering if in a strange way the film that works as the best companion piece to Bess in Breaking The Waves is how the relationship between Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier plays out in The Five Obstructions. Throughout that film von Trier is the kind of devillishly malevolent taskmaster setting up fiendishly difficult rules for how he wants Leth to remake his short film The Perfect Human multiple times and then when Leth manages to overcome the situation and proudly brings back his new production as almost a kind of 'offering' to von Trier, he is often met with a dismissive shrug and a new task set! Despite being a documentary (or perhaps more accurately a 'reality TV' structured piece) Jørgen Leth is very much in the Bess role of both being upset at the unreasonable demands being made of him and yet also tacitly accepting von Trier's role as the figure of authority that he has to be deferent towards, and almost humiliate himself for, throughout the film (the aloof God figure, if you will), which leads to the surprisingly affecting and complicated ending:
Spoiler for the ending of The Five ObstructionsShow
In which von Trier says that, because everything that Leth has made is unsatisfying, that he is going to take the footage from all of the films that Leth has made and make a film of it himself and wants Leth to read a voiceover script that he will write but will only be credited to Leth. This takes the form of a searing comment on von Trier's unreasonable God-like position throughout the rest of the film by the director who was 'forced' into remaking his original film and (albeit willingly) mangling it to fit into various contexts and locations that were not originally intended:

"Maybe you put words in other people's mouths to get out of saying them yourself...You say I didn't dare to find my way into what I so dishonestly and skillfully conceal and you imagine to be so valuable. The dishonest person was you, Lars. You only saw what you wanted to see...You wanted to make me human, but that is what I am. You got me to play along but you let me get on the defensive. As we all know, it is the attacker who really exposes himself. The truth is you got it wrong. and you fell flat on your face! How does the perfect human fall?"

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Lowry_Sam
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:35 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: 705 Breaking the Waves

#78 Post by Lowry_Sam » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:51 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:48 am
Throughout that film von Trier is the kind of devillishly malevolent taskmaster setting up fiendishly difficult rules for how he wants Leth to remake his short film The Perfect Human multiple times and then when Leth manages to overcome the situation and proudly brings back his new production as almost a kind of 'offering' to von Trier, he is often met with a dismissive shrug and a new task set!
Sounds like the same formula of a certain reality tv show from a certain charlatan who managed to become president of the US.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 705 Breaking the Waves

#79 Post by zedz » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:13 pm

So I guess there’s a parallel universe in which Lars Von Trier is the President of the United States...

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domino harvey
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Re: 705 Breaking the Waves

#80 Post by domino harvey » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:14 pm

Preventing that is probably what the founding fathers had in mind when making the rules for governing the country

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MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
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Re: 705 Breaking the Waves

#81 Post by MichaelB » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:20 pm

He's never set foot in the US, has he?

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domino harvey
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Re: 705 Breaking the Waves

#82 Post by domino harvey » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:22 pm

More because he's afraid of flying, I believe

Zot!
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am

Re: 705 Breaking the Waves

#83 Post by Zot! » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:37 am

domino harvey wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:22 pm
More because he's afraid of flying, I believe
Correct, he drives to Cannes.

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: 705 Breaking the Waves

#84 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:20 pm

On that note according to the extra features he directed the oil rig scenes in Breaking The Waves through a live feed back on the mainland. But the funniest moment occurs in Epidemic in which he got his film consultant who was going on holiday to the States at the time to film a shot for inclusion into the film! (It kind of fits in with that meta element about writers struggling to write a film that we see glimpses of that also includes a road trip to Germany and an evening hanging out with Udo Kier!) So he has found ways to get around those self imposed limitations, along with the photos in Dogville/Manderlay and shooting Dancer In The Dark mostly outside of the US.

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